Rowing Canada Aviron (RCA) is pleased to announce that the National Beach Sprint Selection Regatta and RowOn Beach Sprint Championships regattas will serve as the qualification events for the upcoming 2023 World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals. The Finals will take place from September 29 through October 1, 2023, in the coastal town of Barletta, Italy.
The National Beach Sprint Selection Regatta will be hosted by Aviron Lachine, in conjunction with Aviron Quebec, on Sunday, August 20, at the Parc du Cap-Saint-Jacques on Lac des Deux Montagnes. This event will serve as the selection event for elite open-aged athletes to represent Canada at the World Beach Sprint Finals.
“Aviron Lachine is looking forward to welcoming rowers of all ages to the final qualification beach sprint regatta to be held at Cap St. Jacques, right on the island of Montreal,” Charles Hauss, President of the Aviron Lachine Beach Sprint Regatta said. “We are excited to share this experience with all of our beach sprint enthusiasts.”
The regatta will feature 11 racing categories, including the open men’s and women’s elite solos and the mixed elite double, that will serve as the selection events for the World Beach Sprint Finals, but also the open and U19 men’s and women’s solo, the open men’s and women’s double, the open mixed double, and an exciting new format, the open mixed adaptive category.
In an exciting category debut, the mixed adaptive category will see an able-bodied rower join with a Para rower in the double coastal rowing boat and compete to find the top inclusive double.
Simultaneously, Hanlan Boat Club, in conjunction with RowOntario, will host the RowOn Beach Sprint Championships on August 19-20 at Ashbridges Bay Park Beach in Toronto. The inaugural coastal rowing regatta will serve as the selection event for the Under 19 athletes to represent Canada at the Beach Sprint Finals. The regatta will feature eight race categories, including the open and U19 men’s and women’s solo, the U19 men’s and women’s double, and the open and U19 mixed double.
“We are very excited to host the inaugural RowOn Beach Sprint Championships! The momentum around Beach Sprints has been building in Ontario, thanks to the hard work of several clubs, coaches, and athletes, over the last few years,” Kate Savage, RowOntario Manager, Domestic Services said. “We are thrilled to be partnering with those individuals to host an event that will offer exciting competitive opportunities, while also providing greater exposure to the sport, within and beyond the current rowing community. What better way to expose the sport to the broader community, than running this event on a busy Toronto beach on a summer weekend! We look forward to big crowds, high energy, and great racing!”
The action will kick off on a Saturday morning with solo races which will continue throughout the day before the doubles take to the water on Sunday. On both days, time trials will take place in the morning, followed by repechages, quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals, as required based on the number of entries. With the regatta being hosted at Ashbridges Bay, there will be an exciting and festive atmosphere that will make for a very spectator-friendly event.
“Today’s event announcement is an exciting opportunity for our nation’s top coastal rowers to showcase their skills and abilities in the emerging rowing discipline and earn their spot to represent Canada at the World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals,” Adam Parfitt, RCA Director of High Performance said. “We commend and appreciate Aviron Lachine and Hanlan Boat Club for hosting these crucial selection events. We are excited for our nation to be represented against the best coastal rowers in the world.”
Coastal rowing is a growing discipline in the sport across Canada and the rest of the world, adding a new alternative pathway for athletes to embrace the sport of rowing. Likened to the evolution of sports such as beach volleyball from indoor volleyball, and mountain biking from cycling, the sport of coastal rowing beach sprints is a rapid and fun adventure ride for spectators, competitors and those new to the sport.
The beach sprint event involves two competing rowers sprinting from the top of the beach to their shored boat (and partner, in the case of doubles) before slaloming a buoy about 250 metres off the coast, returning to the shore, launching from the boat and sprinting back to the starting line.
It makes for a short, sharp test of a rowers’ abilities in running, rowing speed, agility, turning power, directional awareness, and wave handling skills, all contained within a race that usually runs for a fast and furious two to four minutes.
World Rowing has formally proposed the discipline to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for inclusion in the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. If accepted, this decision would bring significant changes to the rowing landscape worldwide, with a decision expected in September 2023.
“While we await the IOC and World Rowing’s decision regarding the Los Angeles 2028 Olympics, we are looking forward to the potential positive effects on coastal rowing in Canada and around the world,” said Adam Parfitt. “For now, our focus is on selecting and sending the strongest possible Canadian rowing team for the World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals in September.”
To ensure a fair and transparent selection process, RCA has established selection guidelines for the 2023 World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals. These guidelines outline the process and criteria to be used in selecting and nominating the RCA Team for the World Beach Sprint Finals in Barletta, Italy.